PROJECT OF MERIT
Dr. David Jaffee | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
The west side of downtown Jacksonville is home to historically black neighborhoods which for over a century were economically thriving. However, if you were to visit those areas today you would be greeted by vacant lots, abandoned buildings and a large homeless population. In the 1930’s predominantly black neighborhoods of Jacksonville were marked as hazardous areas unfit for loans: a process known as redlining. The Economic Innovation Group’s Distressed Community Index will be analyzed to determine if there is a correlation between redlining and the disproportionate economic hardship of historically black areas to predominantly white areas of Jacksonville. Utilizing GIS technologies, zip code level data will be spatially displayed. Scatterplots display the Pearson zero-order correlation between the percent minority share and distress levels of communities. Preliminary findings suggest the impact of redlining is still evident in the persistent racial and socioeconomic segregation of communities in Jacksonville, Florida. Further research should be done to determine if other cities have similar levels of economic distress in previously redlined areas. There is an actionable need for a social science perspective when urban planning decisions are made. Researchers should be encouraged to engage in the political process in order to educate legislators in desegregation efforts.